Elizabeth Weatherhead Group
Dr. Weatherhead is proud to share a number of awards including the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for her contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She is often asked to consult on a variety of topics within atmospheric science that require high level statistical or technical expertise. Her background in solar radiation and its affects on all levels of the atmosphere have resulted in a number of publications and governmental reports. Her work on detecting changes in ozone culminated in the cover story on ozone recovery for Nature in 2006. Since then she has worked to establish defensible criteria for identifying when one weather forecasting model is better than another--even when the improvement is extremely small.
Current research interests include supporting renewable energy, particularly wind and solar, through a better understanding of long-term and short-term resources and predictability.
American Meteorological Society
Betsy Weatherhead, "Our goal is the best possible weather forecasts to the end users."
- AMS / UCAR Congressional Visits September 12, 2012
Analysis of Solar Radiation Data
Solar radiation is measured in a small number of locations around the world.
Analysis of Solar Renewable Energy
Understanding solar renewable energy requires a comprehensive understanding of solar radiation measurements, radiative transfer, weather forecasting, and air quality forecasting.
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) is an international project of the Arctic Council and the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), to evaluate and synthesize knowledge on climate variability, climate change, and increased ultraviolet radiation and their consequences. Dr. Weatherhead is Lead Author on the assessment's chapter on ozone and UV radiation, and is also a member of the Assessment Steering Committe (ASC).
- Developmental Testbed Center (DTC)
FSL Radiosonde Data
We are involved in analyzing temperature profiles from the long-term record U.S. radiosonde network observations, currently archived at NOAA's Forecast Systems Laboratory. By assessing the natural variability and other factors influencing the data, we can determine the altitudes and locations that might provide earliest confirmation of long-term climate change. Preliminary results have been published in the journal Physics and Chemistry of Earth.
Ice Seal Analysis - results from unmanned aircraft flights
The changing ice conditions in the Arctic likely are affecting the ecoysystems that are depending on that ice for survival.
As part of a project through NASA's Living With a Star program, we are collaborating with scientists in NOAA's Space Environment Center to evaluate natural forcing and signs of climate change in ionospheric data. The ionosphere is subject to forcing by various factors, including changes in solar input and geomagnetic activity. These inputs, coupled with instrument changes over the course of the long-term record, complicate the ability to isolate a long-term or anthropogenic signal.
Dr. Weatherhead was a contributing author on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). These efforts were highlighted in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize granted to Al Gore and the IPCC.
The Montreal Protocol and its amendments has resulted in a reduction of ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere.
Renewable energy development is important for the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Study of Envionmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)
SEARCH is a cooperative effort to understand the full scope of the changes occurring in the Arctic. Through SEARCH, scientists will research exactly how the observed changes relate to the Arctic's natural variability and if the changes indicate the start of a major climate shift in the North. We will be working with the SEARCH program to evaluate current Arctic monitoring efforts and their relation to known large regional variabilities in the Arctic.
We are involved in analyzing ozone data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer and from Umkehr to evaluate recent improvements to the Umkehr retrieval algorithm and to assess signs of ozone recovery at various altitudes and locations.
U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN)
The USCRN is a climate monitoring network being developed through the National Climatic Data Center as part of a NOAA initiative. Its primary goal is to provide future long-term homogeneous observations of temperature and precipitation that can be coupled to long-term historical observations for the detection and attribution of present and future climate change. We are working closely with NCDC personnel to develop appropriate QA/QC criteria for the USCRN precipitation measurements. Understanding the expected long-term behavior of the instrument along with its ability to perform in both low and high precipitation events will improve the overall scientific usefulness of the data.
Ultraviolet radiation is important for all life, with both positive and negative impacts.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Unmanned aircraft can offer unprecedented abilities for environmental scientists to make critical measurements where manned aircraft are either not feasible or not safe.
UV Radiation Page
Dr. Weatherhead's research group has developed and hosts an extensive web site with information on worldwide UV monitoring and numerous links to UV education and health effect information.
- Wind Forecasting
World Meteorological Organization
Dr. Weatherhead is the International Coordination Chair for the UV Scientific Advisory Group. She also served as a reviewer for the 2002 UNEP/WMO Ozone Assessment.